RUSSIA & CHINA: STRONG TIES
Russia seeks an acceleration of its business ties with China. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev suggested on Monday that the two countries could soon reach an agreement on a second pipeline.
"We would like to come to an agreement in the next year," Medvedev commented during the 19th Regular Meeting of the Heads of Government of Russia and China. Russia's PM referred to the Western Route, which would be the second pipeline connecting the countries after the Power of Siberia. According to some reports, the second pipeline would deliver almost the same amount of gas - around 30 bcm, compared to 38 bcm to be delivered by the Power of Siberia.
Medvedev met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, indicating that Moscow is seeking an intensification of ties to minimise the consequences of Western sanctions.
"Over the past six years, bilateral trade has more than doubled from $40 to $90 billion. But we have more important goals ahead," Medvedev said in a note.
Meanwhile, Rosneft and CNPC strengthened cooperation.
'The agreement envisages elaboration of current and potential strategic cooperation areas . The document also foresees the fueling of a deeper collaboration in these areas. In particular, the parties intend to proceed with Upstream projects in the Russia, refinining in China (Tianjin Refinery) and other venues of cooperation,' reads a statement published by Rosneft on Monday.
Some other reports suggested that the Power of Siberia might suffer delays. A clearer picture could come out of the talks between Vladimir Putin and China's Keqiang on Tuesday.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.